I roasted a turkey on the BBQ the other day. I’d picked it up on sale after Christmas and it was taking up way too much space in my freezer. And, while the cook itself didn’t really excite me too much, it ended up being the best turkey I’ve ever turned out!
We tend to only roast whole turkeys at Christmas time in the UK, and the day itself can often include an element of stress, so perhaps the lack of it helped on this occasion, I don’t know. Five of us had a beautiful roast dinner with almost three quarters of the bird left over. It was a big turkey!
Thankfully what remains constant for me is my love of leftovers. Being able to grab a few simple ingredients and create a completely different dish from the original meal is something that I find incredibly satisfying and a welcome challenge.
These pastries are very easy to make and packed with so much flavour. While perfect for those turkey leftovers on Boxing Day or after Thanksgiving, this would work equally well with chicken and ham. I’ve used ingredients that most people will have in their store cupboard, as I don’t want you having to run out to the shops or go online to purchase anything unusual. That defeats the purpose for me.
The recipe makes 6 good sized individual slices, but you could also make one large pie in a dish or pie tin with a puff pastry top. Shortcrust would work well here too. I used puff as it was what I had in the freezer. If you don’t have tarragon, thyme will be perfect. As usual I encourage you to tweak to your own taste and what you have to hand, that’s part of the fun!
750g puff pastry (shop bought it fine, life is too short to make puff pastry :)
8 slices, smoked dry cure bacon (streaky or loin) cut into lardons
1 large onion, sliced
250g Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried tarragon
3 tbsp plain flour
400ml chicken stock
350g cooked turkey, shredded or cubed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 beaten egg mixed with a little (egg wash)
In a large frying pan or skillet, fry the bacon in about a teaspoon of oil until the fat has rendered and the bacon has started to crisp up. Remove from the pan and set aside, leaving any fat in the pan. Fry the onion, mushrooms and tarragon until the onions are slightly softened and have taken on some colour. Return the bacon back to the pan, sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further minute, stirring well to incorporate the flour.
Pour in the stock and milk and stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the turkey and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Check for seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and set aside for half an hour to cool slightly.
Preheat your oven to 190˚c/fan 180˚c. Divide your pastry into 12 and roll out into squares measuring roughly 5×5 inches. If you have ready rolled pastry this will be easier. Lay out 6 squares (the bases) and dampen the outer perimeters with water. Spoon the cooled turkey mixture into the centre of each pastry square. Be generous, but don’t go mad. The lids will need to be a little bigger, so roll them out a wee bit more than the bases.
Pop on the lids, pressing the edges together to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges and trim them up with a knife to neaten. Using a pastry brush, egg wash the parcels. This gives a lovely golden colour as they bake.
Sprinkle with a little salt and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. If not using a fan assisted oven ensure that you turn them half way through so that they bake evenly.
Serve on their own, with a green salad…… or chips!!